By HEATHER NELLIS
Recorder News Staff
PERTH -- Brent Phetteplace was awarded by the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce Wednesday with the Herbert T. Singer Award.
The community service award was first presented to Singer of Amsterdam Printing & Litho, and is given annually to a person or persons who contribute to the betterment of the community through their selfless dedication and service.
"When I read the criteria, and was asked to make a nomination, the person who immediately came to my mind was Brent Phetteplace," said Jeanne So, who was the recipient of the award in 2012.
Phetteplace is an agent with his mother's company, Judith-Ann Realty. He's been in the Amsterdam Rotary Club since 1996, and is currently the chair of the Highway Cleanup Committee. He serves the St. Mary's Healthcare board, previously served Amsterdam Memorial Hospital's board for 5 years, and has been an active member of the town of Amsterdam's Board of Assessment review since 1998.
So said considering Singer was the first Eagle Scout in Montgomery County, Phetteplace was further worthy of the award because he's an active den leader in Pack 101 scouting in Amsterdam.
Phetteplace also has a place in his heart for the community's elderly and its veterans. He's been active in promoting the Honor Guard Program, and assists a disabled veteran as a volunteer doing property management with his oldest son, Sam.
"I grew up in an environment where it was just expected," Phetteplace said of his service. "Growing up as a scout I learned value and importance of giving back to my community. Rotary has also been a major influence. Rotarians have truly show me how important it is to step outside your comfort zone and get involved."
He gave credit to his wife, Deborah Slezak, who also steps up to the plate to give back, and is additionally inspired by his neighbors in the community.
"I have learned about community service from getting coffee every morning," said Phetteplace. "Since 1996 I have stopped where all the village's retired men have gathered. Most of them have known each other for years, and have a common thread of serving in the military. These guys never have done things for recognition, but they have served in every role they could to make their towns a better and safer place for kids to grow up."
"In forty years, I want to be the guy at the coffee shop, talking about all the things I've done for my community, and hopefully inspire someone else," Phetteplace finished.
His additional service to the community stem to recovery efforts in Fort Hunter, which was ravaged by flooding in 2011.
Phetteplace also was pegged as the driving force behind the chamber's annual big buck hunting contest, has helped garner new membership for the organization, and helps raise funds the chamber's student scholarship program, So said.
Singer's award has historically been presented at the chamber's annual dinner event, but upon the merger of Fulton and Montgomery counties' organizations, it was awarded for the first time at a staff appreciation luncheon at the Raindancer.
The event is organized to help chamber members honor their dedicated, extraordinary employees. It was sponsored this year by the Johnstown Animal Hospital and St. Mary's Healthcare.
An Employee of the Year award was awarded to Donna Renda of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nominees included Patricia Green and Andrea Brooks, both of St. Mary's Healthcare, and Andy Stegland of Liberty Enterprises.
The Jenny Award was additionally awarded to Helen Martin, president of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women's Consortium.